Quintiles beefs up in bioanalytics ahead of Quest partnership

Awaiting the closure of a wide-ranging deal with Quest Diagnostics ($DGX), Quintiles ($Q) is expanding its capabilities in bioanalytics, opening a new outpost in Europe for lab tests.

Quintiles has cut the ribbon on a bioanalytical testing lab in Oss, the Netherlands, an operation that will offer mass spectrometry services and tests for pharmacokinetics and ADME. As it stands, Quintiles' bioanalytical work is processed out of three labs in the U.S., and the company has long sought a European beachhead to expand its global footprint.

And the facility will prove invaluable once Quintiles seals its partnership with Quest, the company said. Under a deal signed in March, Quintiles and Quest are teaming up on lab tests for clinical trials, leveraging their respective strengths in hopes of creating an industry leader worth about $575 million in annual revenue. The agreement should close next quarter, Quintiles said.

"The Oss laboratory will further enhance the scale, clinical trial expertise and diverse therapeutic experience that will be a cornerstone of the proposed joint venture with Quest Diagnostics," Costa Panagos, Quintiles' head of central labs, said in a statement. "The addition of the Oss laboratory is integral to the continued evolution of our laboratory business, and we're excited about the benefits it can provide as part of a globally scaled and agile business for our customers today as well as in the future."

Panagos will serve as CEO of the Quintiles-Quest joint venture once it's up and running, with his company holding a 60% stake.

Quintiles' decision to dive into lab tests came about a month after LabCorp ($LH), Quest's biggest competitor, closed a roughly $6 billion acquisition of Covance, one of the world's largest CROs. The thinking behind that deal was much like that of the Quintiles JV: Through decades of running clinical trials and diagnostic tests, LabCorp and Covance have amassed longitudinal data on millions of patients, and their merger will help clients of all stripes make more informed decisions and pave the way for more cost-effective healthcare, the companies said.

- read the statement